I thoroughly enjoyed Peter Colaco’s “Bangalore :A Century of Tales from City & Cantonment.” Perhaps since I have been a long time resident of Bangalore, including some years in the Fraser Town/Cox Town area, every page of the book resonated with me. The illustrations by Peter Fernandes are splendid and go a long way in enhancing the visual appeal of the book.
The book is a collection of essays which cover the history of the City of Bangalore in a very personal way. Peter Colaco, a Mangalorean Konkani Catholic moved to Bangalore in the late 50s as a teenager when his father retired from the Indian Railways. He was the sixth of a family of seven while his mother was the eldest of a family of seventeen children. Peter writes with a lot of nostalgia about his childhood in his grandparents sprawling bungalow in Grant Road and his years growing up in Fraser Town.
I don’t wish to spoil your reading of the book by telling you some of the better stories. All I can say is that “Ghost Stories”, “The Anglo-Indian Days” and “Jayanagar Revisited” were my personal favourites.
I couldn’t find any link on how to get this book online but the 2003 edition I read says it was published by Via Media Books, who can be reached at email@example.com or you could call 91-80- 25483204.
Peter’s book is a book everyone who is interested in Bangalore must read. It makes for very easy and interesting reading. Being a collection of essays, it affords you the flexibility of dipping into any chapter at random, whenever you are so inclined. I have finished the book but Peter’s descriptions of Old Bangalore will stay in my mind for a long time to come.